Pierre Garcon’s foot was the biggest troll of 2012.
I loved Garcon heading into 2012 fantasy football drafts. He was the guy I wanted on all of my teams. And it wasn’t because he had a cool last name or accomplished decent fantasy production with a subpar quarterback (Hey, Curtis Painter). It was because he ran as the “X” receiver in a Shanahan offense and had a great, young quarterback to throw him the ball.
His preseason game against the Bills helped, too.
When all was said and done, Garcon was a fixture on all but one of my fantasy squads. I usually saved my sixth round draft pick to acquire his services and thought he was a bargain there.
It was the first week of the season and all my friends were at mi casa getting ready to enjoy the first of many Sunday’s filled with NFL Redzone, bloody marys and darts. I remember – quite vividly – watching Garcon take a Robert Griffin III 12-yard pass to the house for an 88-yard touchdown against New Orleans. It was as if my constant obsession for Garcon had been vindicated. I felt like a champion.
Then, disaster hit. I caught a glimpse of him sitting on the sidelines with trainers nearby, and thought to myself, “This can’t be good. At least he got me 16 points before exiting. I’ll need him again next week.” Little did I know, the bane of my existence was taking shape right before my eyes.
The next nine weeks of my life were spent in denial. Sheathed in questionable tags on a weekly basis, I decided around Week 6 to just ride out the storm. As the weeks went on without Garcon playing time, I began believing it was a lost season for my newest fantasy football relationship.
“I will give it until after his bye week” I incessantly told myself. “If he’s not right by then, I’ll cut my ties.”
Thanksgiving Thursday hit, just two weeks after the Redskins’ bye, and my ‘bromance’ was blossoming once again for Garcon. He played the previous week, but did very little. But hey, at least he didn’t hurt his foot again!
It was well worth the wait, as Garcon compiled a stat line of four receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown in his first ‘healthy’ game back. I don’t know how many high-fives my family received from me that day, but I was once again, in love with Pierre Garcon.
He went on to post some decent numbers throughout the rest of the season, but still left me without a championship. And after my up-and-down season with him, I still think he’s the cheapest top-10 wide receiver you’ll find in 2013.
All I have to do is take a look at what he did when he was relatively healthy to tell me all I need to know. In his “healthy” games in 2012, Garcon’s performances looked like the following:
If you’re in a PPR league, Garcon would have scored an average of 17.1 points per game. If you extrapolate that kind of production over a 16 game season, Garcon’s would finish with over 84 receptions, 1,334 yards and more than 9 scores.
Those stats would have been good for eighth-best wide receiver in fantasy football.
Per ProFootballFocus.com, Garcon was ranked number 14 in wide receiver rating amongst 82 receivers who qualified, with a rating of 116.7. He caught a total of 44 balls from 63 targets (70% catch rate) for 633 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception. The Skins’ wideout was also ranked as the 6th best wide receiver (out of 103) in yards after catch. Only Percy Harvin, Joe Morgan, Cecil Shorts, Danario Alexander, and T.Y. Hilton were better.
So the season that “could have been” has become the season we “expect to see” for Garcon heading into 2013 and beyond. With his foot problems behind him (and me), the sky’s the limit for Garcon. And that shouldn’t change with or without a full season from RGIII (he did just fine with Kirk Cousins as his quarterback).
Garcon had pain in his right foot last preseason and then tore ligaments during Week 1. He ended up playing in just 10 games and was severely limited in four. However, undergoing surgery to repair his plantar plate wouldn’t have guaranteed a full recovery, and specialists now believe that barring a setback, rest will do the trick. The Examiner’s source says Garcon — who hasn’t been running since the Redskins’ season ended on Jan. 6 — should be 100 percent by the start of 2013. We’ll still have a yellow flag next to his name as foot injuries at the wideout position can linger.
I decided to do my due diligence on this piece, so I asked a real doctor, Scott Peak (@Scott_Peak), what we can expect with Garcon and his foot. His message to me was very detailed (such a doctor):
Pierre Garcon sustained a partially torn plantar plate the first game of the 2012 season, and ended up missing six games. The plantar plate is a ligament that is located at the balls of both feet, and helps to join bones of the toes, called phalanges, to longer bones in the foot, called metatarsals. This ligament helps to cushion metatarsal bones from direct impact on the ball of the foot, and also helps to prevent excessive extension of the toes. This is important, as football players like Garcon frequently push off on the balls of their feet, and their toes become extended in this position. Toe extension is the opposite of curling, as the toes will bend upward. When Garcon plants his foot into the ground, exploding forward with great force and acceleration, he will direct force on the balls of his feet while extending his toes on the ground. Toe extension and pushing off on the plantar plate allows for explosive force and acceleration. Unfortunately, it also places significant stress on the plantar plate, as much as 800% of body weight in athletes.
Plantar plate injuries are graded in three levels, each with its own prognosis and treatment plan:
The specific grade of Garcon’s injury has not been officially confirmed, but given he does not need surgery and has a partial tear, grade 2 seems to be most likely. Garcon did manage to come back from his injury last year, and performed quite well after taking six games off, so that bodes well for him next year. Athletes with grade 2 plantar plate injuries should be completely recovered with an off-season of treatment. The one caveat is that plantar plate tears are at risk for re-injury, but it’s hard to predict. Garcon might come at a discount given his injury, and might be worth the risk, but that depends on risk tolerance of his owners, as well as the asking price.
With all this information, I can’t help but to continue my love for Pierre Garcon into 2013 and beyond. According to MyFantasyLeague.com, Garcon’s ADP in redraft leagues is hovering at number 54 overall. He’s currently the 19th WR off the board, just after Wes Welker and before Mike Wallace. The value is there and the stats are there. The only issue with Garcon is will he stay healthy for a full 16 games from here on out.
I think he can – and will – thanks to Dr. Dynasty’s (Scott’s) information gathered for you fantasy addicts to absorb.
Earlier I said Garcon would be the cheapest top-10 receiver in 2013 fantasy drafts. His run after the catch is among the top receivers in the league, and he works in an offense that the run needs to be accounted for with RGIII and Alfred Morris.
“Pardon me, Garcon? More Pierre, s’il vous plait…”